The State government has directed building owners to commission recycling plants and rainwater harvesting structures on their premises in three months.
Speaking at a review meeting on rainwater harvesting on Monday, Minister for Municipal Administration S.P. Velumani said that all local bodies, including Chennai Corporation, will issue notices to owners of apartment complexes, industries, schools and commercial buildings this week.
Residents of 15 corporations, 122 municipalities, 528 town panchayats and 12,524 village panchayats will be advised by civic officials to commission recycling plants and rainwater harvesting structures before the onset of the northeast monsoon in the State.
Threat of action
“Local bodies will take action against those who fail to commission the structures in three months. There is a rise in awareness among all people. We expect all the people to contribute to rainwater harvesting and recycling,” said Mr.Velumani. Chennai Corporation has screened 2.35 lakh buildings for rainwater harvesting structures. Just 1.36 lakh buildings in the city have been found to harvest rainwater. As many as 3,850 buildings have set up rainwater harvesting structures. A total of 37,131 residents who have damaged structures have been asked to commission new rainwater harvesting structures by the end of October. Over 60,000 residents of Chennai Corporation have not yet started harvesting rainwater on their premises so far. Corporation officials at the ward level have asked all such residents to commission rainwater harvesting structures by the end of October.
Over eight lakh buildings in Chennai have commissioned rainwater harvesting structures. Teams of officials from the Corporation have started providing advice on commissioning rainwater harvesting structures to the residents who have not yet commissioned such structures.
Recent rain has boosted groundwater level: Minister
“Fourteen private entities have signed MoUs for ecorestoration of waterbodies in Chennai. The city will get one TMC additional storage by restoring the waterbodies,” said Mr. Velumani.
In other cities and towns in the State, all the 47.85 lakh buildings will get rainwater harvesting structures in three months, said Mr.Velumani.
Officials have inspected over 15 lakh buildings and issued notice to over 10 lakh buildings in other parts of the State. Of the 1,786 tanks, including temple tanks, 773 have started harvesting rainwater. In the 528 town panchayats in the State, 26.6 lakh rainwater harvesting structures have been commissioned in 24.12 lakh houses and 2.34 lakh commercial buildings and industries.
A total of 70,368 waterbodies in the rural areas of the State will soon be restored to improve groundwater recharge. As many as 22,347 check dams have been constructed in the past two years in the State, improving groundwater recharge in the recent spell of rain.